Across Pennsylvania, the 67,000 members of AFSCME Council 13 have been stepping up to volunteer to make sure that the public service work in their communities is taken care of during the COVID-19 public health crisis.
At schools there are cafeteria managers who are volunteering daily to make sure that school closures aren’t stopping children from getting the free meals that sustain them.
On the roadways, executive board members of the AFSCME Local 2112 (Clarion County Trades and Labor) have volunteered to do emergency work such as patching potholes, removing debris creating a big enough response team that there are enough employees to fill in if some get sick.
Local 2112 President Josh Minich said that management and the union came together to decide that stepping up to volunteer would be one of the best ways to navigate the challenges of keeping the functions of public service work going.
“By calling all members and asking for volunteers, we assured that we had employees that wanted to be here and were OK taking the risks to do so,” he said.
Each day, Helen Malloy, vice president of AFSCME Local 2196 (Chichester School District) and a food service crew have been volunteering to prepare meals to feed low-income families who rely on school for breakfast and lunch.
“The superintendent has been blown away by how employees are stepping up,” Maloy said.
Read more about the public service workers in Pennsylvania who are working voluntarily to take care of their communities here.